Advertisement

Wetlands

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 261–273 | Cite as

Spring Nutrient Levels in Drained Wetlands of IOWA’s Prairie Pothole Region

  • Mary Skopec
  • Vince Evelsizer
Iowa Farmed Wetlands

Abstract

Approximately 95% of nearly 4 million acres of wetlands located in Iowa’s portion of the Prairie Pothole Region (Des Moines Landform Region) are currently drained and farmed for row crop agriculture. Many of these wetland basins are too wet to produce consistent crop yields and too dry to function as normal wetlands. Very little information currently exists that documents what, if any value, drained wetlands may have in terms of water quality, wildlife usage and/or habitat, and hydrologic functions. A four-year comprehensive study of drained wetlands was conducted from 2011 to 2014 to develop baseline conditions and to document the current status of drained wetlands in the Des Moines Lobe region. As part of this comprehensive study, nutrient levels were analyzed from surface water collected in drained wetlands during the spring months. Nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations showed high intra- and inter-annual variability and maximum concentrations for nitrate and ammonia exceeded aquatic life benchmarks. Nutrient levels in drained wetlands were significantly higher as compared to data previously gathered (2005–2009) from restored prairie pothole and high quality reference wetlands in the same region. Information from this study advances our collective knowledge of drained wetlands for both conservation and land-use policy related decisions.

Keywords

Agriculture Prairie Pothole Region Wetland Nutrients Nitrogen Phosphorous 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank U.S. EPA Region 7 for providing two wetland grants during this four-year project. Without these grants, this information could not have been gathered and documented. We also thank Dave Hoffman (Iowa DNR) and the numerous field staff that worked on this project tirelessly to obtain landowner permission and collect samples. Lastly, we gratefully thank the landowners who voluntarily granted us permission to access their land to collect samples. Meeting landowners and talking with them was a highlight of the project.

References

  1. American Public Health Association (1992), Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater, 18th edn. Methods 4500 NH3 HGoogle Scholar
  2. Bishop RA (1981) Iowa’s wetlands. Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of. Science 88:11–16Google Scholar
  3. Bishop RA, Joens AJ, Zohrer J (1998) Iowa’s wetlands, present and future with a focus on prairie potholes. Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science 88:11–16Google Scholar
  4. Bishop CA, Mahony NA, Struger J, Ng P, Pettit KE (1999) Anuran development, density and diversity in relation to agricultural activity in the Holland River watershed, Ontario, Canada (1990–1992). Environ Monit Assess 57:21–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bishop RA, van der Valk AG (1982) Wetlands. In: Cooper TC (ed) Iowa’s Natural Heritage. Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and Iowa Academy of Science, Des Moines, IA, USA, pp 208–229Google Scholar
  6. Braskerud BC (2002) Factors affecting phosphorus retention in small constructed wetlands treating agricultural non-point source pollution. Ecol Eng 19:41–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Camargo JA, Alonso A, Salamanca A (2005) Nitrate toxicity to aquatic animals: a review with new data for freshwater invertebrates. Chemosphere 58:1255–1267CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Cowardin, LM, Carter V, Golet FC, LaRoe ET (1979) Classification of wetlands and deepwater habitats of the United States. U.S. Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Biological Services, Washington DC, USA. FWS/OBS–79/31Google Scholar
  9. Crumpton WG (2001) Using wetlands for water quality improvement in agricultural watersheds: the importance of a watershed scale perspective. Water Sci Technol 44:559–564CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Crumpton WG, Stenback GA (2014) 2014 Annual Report on Performance of Iowa CREP Wetlands: Monitoring and Evaluation of Wetland Performance. Submitted to Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Available at: http://iowacrep.ag.iastate.edu/sites/default/files/2014%20CREP%20Wetland%20Monitoring%20and%20Evaluation%20Annual%20Report.pdf. Accessed 02 Dec 2016
  11. Crumpton WG, Stenback GA (2011) 2011 Annual Report on Performance of Iowa CREP Wetlands: Monitoring and Evaluation of Wetland Performance. Submitted to Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Available at: http://www.iowacrep.org/sites/default/files/sites/default/2011%20Wetland%20Monitoring%20and%20Evaluation.pdf. Accessed 02 Dec 2016
  12. Crumpton WG, Stenback GA, Miller BA, Helmers MJ (2006) Potential benefits of wetland filters for tile drainage systems: impact on nitrate loads to Mississippi river subbasins. Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Technical Reports and White Papers. Paper 8. http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/abe_eng_reports/8
  13. Dahl TE (2006) Status and trends of wetlands in the conterminous United States 1998 to 2004. U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  14. Davis CB, Baker JL, van der Valk AG, Beer CE (1981) Prairie pothole marshes as traps for nitrogen and phosphorous in agricultural runoff. In: Richardson B (ed) Selected Proceedings of the Midwest Conference on Wetland Values and Management. Freshwater Society, Navarre, MN, pp 153–163 660 ppGoogle Scholar
  15. Diamond D (1998) QuickChem® Method 10–107–04-1-J, Determination of nitrate/nitrite in surface and wastewaters by flow injection analysis (low flow method). Zellweger Analytics. Lachat Instruments Division. Milwaukee, WIGoogle Scholar
  16. Dunne EJ, Reddy KR, Clark MW (2006) Phosphorus release and retention by soils of natural isolated wetlands. Int J Environ Pollut 4(3/4):496–516CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Evelsizer VE, Skopec MP (2016) Pesticides, Including Neonicotinoids, in Drained Wetlands of Iowa’s Prairie Pothole Region. Wetlands.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s13157-016-0796-x
  18. Gleason, RA, Laubhan MK, Euliss NH (2008) Ecosystem services derived from wetland conservation practices in the United States Prairie Pothole Region with an emphasis on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Conservation Reserve and Wetlands Reserve Programs: U.S. Geological Professional Paper 1745, 58 pGoogle Scholar
  19. Goldhaber MB, Mills CT, Stricker CA, Morrison JM (2011) (2011) The role of critical zone processes in the evolution of the Prairie Pothole Region wetlands. Appl Geochem 26(Supplement):S32–−S35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Groh TA, Gentry LE, David MB (2015) Nitrogen Removal and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Constructed Wetlands Receiving Tile Drainage Water. Journal of Environment Quality 44(3):1001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hofman BS, Brouder SM, Turco RF (2004) Tile spacing impacts on Zea mays L. yield and drainage water nitrate load. Ecol Eng 23:251–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ikenberry CD, Soupir ML, Schilling KE, Jones CS, Seeman A (2015) Nitrate-nitrogen export: magnitude and patterns from drainage districts to downstream river basins. J Environ Qual 43:2024–2033CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Iovanna R, Hyberg S, Crumpton W (2008) Treatment wetlands: Cost-effective practice for intercepting nitrate before it reaches and adversely impacts surface waters. J Soil Water Conserv 63(1):14A–15A.  https://doi.org/10.2489/jswc.63.1.14A CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (2016) Climatology Bureau. http://www.iowaagriculture.gov/climatology.asp. Accessed 16 May 2016
  25. Iowa Department of Natural Resources (2002) Standard operating procedures for surface water quality monitoring. Iowa CityGoogle Scholar
  26. Iowa Department of Natural Resources (2007) Estimating the condition of permanent and semi-permanent Wetlands in Iowa’s Prairie Pothole Region REMAP Project #830759, Final Report to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, October 2007; 56 ppGoogle Scholar
  27. Iowa State Climatologist (2015) Iowa historic weather reports, available at http://www.iowaagriculture.gov/climatology/historicWeatherReports.asp. Access 29 June 2015
  28. Johnson RR, Oslund FT, Hertel DR (2008) The past, present, and future of prairie potholes in the United States. J Soil Water Conserv 63(3):84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kalita PK, Algonazany AS, Mitchell JK, Cooke RAC, Hirschi MC (2006) Subsurface water quality from a flat tiled-drained watershed in Illinois, USA. Agriculture Ecosystems. Environment 115:183–193Google Scholar
  30. Knutson MG, Richardson WB, Reineke DM, Gray BR, Parmelee JR, Weick SE (2004) Agricultural ponds support amphibian populations. Ecol Appl 14(3):669–684CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Koskiaho J (2003) Flow velocity retardation and sediment retention in two constructed wetland-ponds. Ecol Eng 19:325–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. McCorvie MR, Lant CL (1993) Drainage district formation and the loss of Midwestern wetlands, 1850-1930. Agric Hist 67:13–39Google Scholar
  33. McDonald JH (2014) Handbook of Biological Statistics, 3rd edn. Sparky House Publishing, Baltimore, MarylandGoogle Scholar
  34. Meyer MD, Davis CA, Dvorett D (2015) Response of Wetland Invertebrate Communities to Local and Landscape Factors in North Central Oklahoma. Wetlands 35(3):533–546CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Miller BA, Crumpton WG, van der Valk AG (2009) Spatial distribution of historical wetland classes on the Des Moines Lobe, Iowa. Wetlands 29:1146–1152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Miller BA, Crumpton WG, van der Valk AG (2012) Wetland hydrologic class change from prior to European settlement to present on the Des Moines Lobe, Iowa. Wetl Ecol Manag 20(1):1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (2010) Aquatic life water quality standards technical support document for nitrate. Triennial Water Quality Standard Amendments to Minn. R. chs. 7050 and 7052, DRAFT For External Review, November 12, 2010, Monson, P (Author), Preimesberger A (Contributor). 20 ppGoogle Scholar
  38. Morrice JA, Danz NP, Regal RR, Kelly JR, Niemi GJ, Reavie ED, Hollenhorst T, Axler RP, Trebitz AS, Cotter AM, Peterson GS (2008) Human influences on water quality in Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Environ Manag 41(3):347–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. O’Dell (1993a) Method 351.2, Determination of total kjeldahl nitrogen by semi-automated colorimetry. Environmental Monitoring Systems Laboratory. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OHGoogle Scholar
  40. O’Dell (1993b) Method 350.1, Determination of ammonia nitrogen by semi-automated colorimetry. Environmental Monitoring Systems Laboratory. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OHGoogle Scholar
  41. Otis DL, Crumpton WG, Green D, Loan-Wilsey AK, McNeely RL, Kane KL, Johnson R, Cooper T, and Vandever M (2010) Assessment of Environmental Services of CREP Wetlands in Iowa and the Midwestern Corn Belt. Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Reports. 3. Available at: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cfwru_reports/3. Accessed 10 Dec 2016
  42. Schilling KE, Jacobson PJ, Streeter M, Jones CS (2016) Groundwater Hydrology and Quality in Drained Wetlands of the Des Moines Lobe in Iowa. Wetlands.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s13157-016-0825-9
  43. Shaw SP, Fredine CG (1956) Wetlands of the United States. U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Circular 39. Washington D.C.Google Scholar
  44. Stewart RE, Kantrud HA (1971) Classification of natural ponds and lakes in the glaciated prairie region. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Research Publication 92Google Scholar
  45. University Hygienic Laboratory (1997a) PAI-DK03 (QuickChem® Method 10–107–06-5-A) Determination of Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen by Flow Injection Analysis, Standard Operating Procedure. The University of Iowa Hygienic Laboratory, Des Moines, IAGoogle Scholar
  46. University Hygienic Laboratory (1997b) QuikChem® Method 10–107–06-1-J, Determination of Ammonia (Phenolate) by Flow Injection Analysis Colorimetry (Low Flow Method), Standard Operating Procedure. The University of Iowa Hygienic Laboratory, Des Moines, IAGoogle Scholar
  47. University Hygienic Laboratory (1997c) QuikChem® Method LAC 10–115-01-1A, Determination of Orthophosphorus by Flow Injection Analysis Colorimetry (Low Flow Method), Standard Operating Procedure. The University of Iowa Hygienic Laboratory, Des Moines, IAGoogle Scholar
  48. University Hygienic Laboratory (2005) QuikChem® Method LAC 10–115-01-1D, Total Phosphorus in Kjeldahl Digests, Standard Operating Procedure. The University of Iowa Hygienic Laboratory, Des Moines, IAGoogle Scholar
  49. United States Department of Agriculture (2013) Statistics of grain and feed. Available via: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/Ag_Statistics/2013/chapter01.pdf
  50. United States Environmental Protection Agency (2007) Method 365.4, Phosphorous, Total (Colorimetric, Automated, Block Digester AA II). http://water.epa.gov/scitech/methods/cwa/bioindicators/upload/2007_07_10_methods_method_365_4.pdf
  51. United States Environmental Protection Agency (2013a) Aquatic life ambient water quality criteria for ammonia – freshwater, EPA 822-R-13-001, 242 pGoogle Scholar
  52. United States Environmental Protection Agency (2013b) Office of water aquatic life ambient water quality criteria for ammonia – freshwater. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-08/documents/aquatic-life-ambient-water-quality-criteria-for-ammonia-freshwater-2013.pdf. Accessed 10 Dec 2016
  53. van der Valk AG (2005) Water level fluctuations in North American prairie wetlands. Hydrobiologia 539:171–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Winter TC, Rosenberry DO (1995) The interaction of ground water with prairie pothole wetlands in the Cottonwood Lake area, east-central North Dakota, 1970-1990. Wetlands 15(3):193–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wright HE Jr (1971) Retreat of the Laurentide ice sheet from 14,000 to 9000 years ago. Quat Res 1(3):316–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Iowa Lakeside Laboratory and Regents Resource CenterMilfordUSA
  2. 2.Iowa Department of Natural ResourcesClear LakeUSA

Personalised recommendations